« PreviousContinue »
containing a description of the runaway, with any other circum
stances deemed material, the postage whereof shall be paid by the Fees to be abated jailor, and charged with other expenses. And if any jailor shall
fail herein, it shall be lawful for the court of his county or corporation to abate such portion of the fees allowed by law for the maintenance of any such runaway, as to them may seem proper.(c)
4. This act shall be in force from its passage.
Chap. 185.–An ACT to amend the act, entitled, “ an act to punish arson, the
burning or setting fire to houses in towns, the malicious burning any house or houses, or stacks, and certain house-breakers, and accessories to felonies, and receivers of stolen goods.”**
(Passed February 12th, 1829.) Slaves burning 1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That if any slave shall stack or wheat, be guilty of either of the offences mentioned in the sixth section of fifty dollars, de. the act to which this is an amendment, and injury shall thereby prived of benefit of clergy.
have been sustained by any person to the value of fisiy dollars, every such slave being thereof convicted, shall be deprived of the benefit
of clergy.(a) Slaves burning 2. And be it further enacted, That every slave convicted under barns, stables, &c. the fifth section of the said act, if the injury done by the offence of ceeding filty dol-, which he or she may have been convicted, shall not exceed the value lars, allowed benefit of clergy.
of fifty dollars, shall be entitled to the benefit of clergy.(6) Slaves receiving 3. And be it further enacted, That if any slave shall be guilty of stolen gools, &c. either of the offences mentioned in the ninth section of the said how to be punish
act, he or she shall be punished by order of any justice of the peace, by stripes, not exceeding thirty-nine; and shall be proceeded against in the same manner as for larceny under the value of twenty dollars.(c)
4. This act shall be in force from its passage.
Chap. 186.–An ACT to amend the act concerning slaves, free negroes and
(Passed April 7th, 1831.) Free negroes and 1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That all free negroes ing in state con
and mulattoes, who shall be convicted of remaining in this commontrary to law, to be wealth contrary to law, and who shall become liable to be sold ac
cording to the provisions of former laws and of this act, shall be publicly sold by the sheriff or sergeant, at the front door of the
courthouse of the county or corporation, on a court day, in pursuance quired. of notice of such sale, posted at such courthouse door, at the court
held in the preceding month.(a)
Notice of sale re
(c) See ante. ch. 175, note (a); also, ch. 177.
(a) Altered from 1 Rev. Code 1819, ch. 160, § 6, p. 588; the section in the revised act punishes the wilful and malicious burning or setting fire to stacks of wheat, hay, &c., and this section requires that they should be of a certain value.
(6) Ibid. § 5; the section referred to punishes the wilful burning or setting fire to barns, stables, &c.
(c) Ibid. § 9, p. 589; this section punishes receivers of stolen goods, bank notes, bonds, &c. See acts 1831-2, ch. 22, § 10; receivers of stolen goods guilty of larceny; post. ch. 187, § 10.
# Acts 1830-31, ch. 39, p. 107. (a) Former laws, acts 1826-7, ch. 26, $ 7,8, p. 25; ante. ch. 182; 1 Rev. Code 1819, ch. 111, $ 61, p. 436.
2. Be it further enacted, That the several superior courts of law, Jurisdiction in
such prosecutions as well as the county and corporation courts, shall have jurisdiction
given to superior of áll prosecutions against free negroes and mulattoes, offending in as well as county manner aforesaid, and may try and determine the same according to law.
3. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of all com- Commissioners of missioners of the public revenue, once in every year, to present to free negroes, &c. the grand juries of the several courts aforesaid, a list of all free ne- so remaining in groes and mulattoes, who, in the opinion of such commissioners, may have remained within the commonwealth, contrary to law, upwards of twelve months from the time of their emancipation.(b)
4. Be it further enacted, That all meetings of free negroes or Meetings for mulattoes, at any school-house, church, meeting-house or other teaching treenfin place for teaching them reading or writing, either in the day or or writing, prohinight, under whatsoever pretext, shall be deemed and considered as an unlawful assembly; and any justice of the county or corporation, Justice to issue wherein such assemblage shall be, either from his own knowledge, mendiand disperse or on the information of others, of such unlawful assemblage or such persons. meeting, shall issue his warrant, directed to any sworn officer or officers, authorizing him or them, to enter the house or houses where such unlawful assemblage or meeting may be, for the purpose of apprehending or dispersing such free negroes or mulattoes, and to inflict corporal punishment on the offender or offenders, at Punishment. the discretion of any justice of the peace, not exceeding twenty lashes.(c)
5. Be it further enacted, That if any white person or persons Penalty on white assemble with free negroes or mulattoes, at any school-house, bling with free nechurch, meeting-house, or other place for the purpose of instructing goes to instruct such free negroes or mulattoes to read or write, such person or per- and writing. sons shall, on conviction thereof, be fined in a sum not exceeding fifty dollars, and moreover may be imprisoned at the discretion of a jury, not exceeding two months.(d)
6. Be it further enacted, That if any white person, for pay or Penalty on white compensation, shall assemble with any slaves for the purpose of persons for teacher teaching, and shall teach any slave to read or write, such person, or writing for pay. or any white person or persons contracting with such teacher so to act, who shall offend as aforesaid, shall, for each offence, be fined at the discretion of a jury, in a sum not less than ten, nor exceeding one hundred dollars, to be recovered on an information or indictment.
7. The judges of the superior courts of law, and the attorneys Act to be given in prosecuting for the commonwealth, in the county and corporation chana juridae courts, are hereby required to give this act in charge to their several grand juries.
8. This act shall be in force from the first day of June next. Commencement. (6) Grand juries heretofore were to make the presentments, ante. ch. 182, § 8. (c) Former law, 1 Rev. Code 1819, ch. 111, § 15, p. 424.
(d) Heretofore white persons were punished for being present at unlawful meetings of slaves, ibid. § 17, p. 425.
hibited from at
may carry slaves, free negroes, &c.
CAAP. 187.-An ACT to amend an act, entitled, " an act reducing into one
the several acts concerning slaves, free negroes and mulattoes, and for other purposes.
[Passed March 15th, 1832.] Preaching at any
1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That no slave, free free neyroes, &c. negro or mulatto, whether he shall have been ordained or licensed, prohibited. or otherwise, shall hereafter undertake to preach, exhort or conduct,
or hold any assembly or meeting, for religious or other purposes, Punishment on either in the day time or at night; and any slave, free negro or
mulatto, so offending, shall for every such offence, be punished with
stripes, at the discretion of any justice of the peace, not exceeding How apprehended. thirty-nine lashes; and any person desiring so to do, shall have au
thority, without any previous written precept or otherwise, to appre
hend any such offender and carry him before such justice.(a) Slaves, &c. pro- 2. Any slave, free negro or mulatto, who shall hereafter attend tending such any preaching, meeting or other assembly, held or pretended to be preacbing. held for religious purposes, or other instruction, conducted by any Or rireaching by slave, free negro or mulatto preacher, ordained or otherwise; and weite, ministers
, at any slave who shall hereafter attend any preaching in the night written permis- time, although conducted by a white minister, without a written
permission from his or her owner, overseer or master or agent of
either of them, shall be punished by stripes at the discretion of any How apprehended. justice of the peace, not exceeding thirty-nine lashes; and may for
that purpose be apprehended by any person, without any written or other precept: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be
so construed, as to prevent the masters or owners of slaves, or any to ittend worship white person to whom any free negro or mulatto is bound, or in white ministers at whose employment, or on whose plantation or lot such free negro
or mulatto lives, from carrying or permitting any such slave, free negro or mulatto, to go with him, her or them, or with any part of
his, her or their white family to any place of religious worship, conWho may afford ducted by a white minister, in the night time: And provided, also, slaves instruction. That nothing in this or any former law, shall be so construed as to gious
prevent any ordained or licensed white minister of the gospel, or any layman licensed for that purpose by the denomination to which he may belong, from preaching or giving religious instruction to slaves, free negroes and mulattoes in the day time; nor to deprive any masters or owners of slaves of the right to engage or employ any free white person whom they may think proper, to give religious
instruction to their slaves; nor to prevent the assembling of the owner permitted slaves of any one owner or master together, at any time for religious for religious devo- devotion.(a)
3. No free negro or mulatto shall hereafter be capable of purgroes may acquire chasing or otherwise acquiring permanent ownership, except by
descent, to any slave, other than his or her husband, wife or children; and all contracts for any such purchase are hereby declared to be null and void.
4. No free negro or mulatto shall be suffered to keep or carry any to keep weapons firelock of any kind, any military weapon, or any powder or lead;
Slaves of one
property in slaves.
and any free negro or mulaito who shall so offend, shall, on convicoffender punished. tion before a justice of the peace, forfeit all such arms and ammu
nition to the use of the informer; and shall moreover be punished with stripes, at the discretion of the justice, not exceeding thirty
Free negroes not
Such articles to
* Acts 1831-2, ch. 22, p. 20.
nine lashes. And the proviso to the seventh section of the act, en- Permission heretotitled, an act reducing into one the several acts concerning slaves, such articles, refree negroes and mulattoes,” passed the second day of March, one pealed. thousand eight hundred and nineteen, authorizing justices of the peace, in certain cases, to permit slaves to keep and use guns or other weapons, powder and shot; and so much of the eighth section of the said recited act as authorizes the county and corporation courts to grant licenses to free negroes and mulattoes to keep or carry any firelock of any kind, any military weapon, or any powder or lead, shall be, and the same are hereby repealed.(6)
5. No slave, free negro or mulatto, shall hereafter be permitted Slaves, free ne. to sell, give or otherwise dispose of any ardent or spirituous liquor Sell or give spirituat or within one mile of any muster, preaching or other public as-ous liquors near
any public assemsembly of black or white persons; and any slave, free negro or mu- bly. latto so offending, shall be punished by stripes, at the discretion of
such offence. a justice of the peace, not exceeding thirty-nine.(c)
6. If any slave, free negro or mulatto, shall hereafter wilfully and Punishment for asmaliciously assault and beat any white person, with intention in so ing white person, doing to kill such white person; every such slave, free negro or with intent to kill. mulatto so offending, and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall be adjudged and deemed guilty of felony, and shall suffer death without benefit of clergy.(d)
7. If any person shall hereafter write, print, or cause to be written Punishment on or printed any book, pamphlet or other writing, advising persons of writing or printing colour within this state to make insurrection, or to rebel, or shall any thing advising knowingly circulate, or cause to be circulated, any book, pamphlet circuluting sume. or other writing, written or printed, advising persons of colour in this commonwealth to commit insurrection or rebellion ;, such
person, if a slave, free negro or mulatto, shall
, on conviction before any justice of the peace, be punished for the first offence with stripes, at the discretion of the said justice, not exceeding thirty-nine lashes; and for the second offence, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and on due conviction, shall be punished with death without the benefit of clergy; and if the person so offending be a white person, he or she Penalty on white shall be punished on conviction, in a sum not less than one hundred persons for same nor more than one thousand dollars.(e)
8. Riots, routs, unlawful assemblies, trespasses and seditious Riots, &c, tresspeeches, by free negroes or mulattoes, shall hereafter be punished lious speeches, by with stripes, in the same mode, and to the same extent, as slaves free negroes, how
punished. are directed to be punished by the twelfth section of the before recited act.(f) 9. If any free negro or mulatto shall hereafter commit simple lar- Simple larceny
committed by free ceny of any money, bank note, goods, chattels, or other thing of the value of twenty dollars or less, he or she, for every such offence, and puuished. shall be tried and punished in the same manner as slaves are directed to be tried and punished by the fifth section of the act, entitled,
an act concerning the trial and punishment of slaves, free negroes (6) 1 Rev. Code 1819, ch. 111, § 7, 423.
© Acts 1831-2, ch. 24, § 2, 4, 5, 6, pp. 24, 25; provisions relative to the buying and selling articles from or to slaves, and particularly buying and selling vinous or spirituous liquours enlarged and extended; post. ch. 188.
(d) See acts 1822-3, ch. 33, p. 36; ante. ch. 176, note to the title,
negrocs, how tried
ment of free negroes.
and mulattoes in certain cases,” passed the twelfth day of February,
one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight.(g) Receivers of sto- 10. If any white person, free negro or mulatto, shall hereafter len goods guilty of receive from any slave, free negro or mulatto, any stolen goods, How punished. knowing the said goods to have been stolen, he or she shall be ad
judged guilty of larceny of the said goods, and punished in the same manner, and to the same extent, as if the receiver had actually stolen the said goods; but nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent the prosecution, conviction and punishment of
the person who actually shall have stolen them, as heretofore.(h) Mode of prosecu- 11. Free negroes and mulattoes shall hereafter be prosecuted, tion, trial, convic- tried, convicted and punished for any felony, by justices of oyer
and terminer, in the same manner as slaves are now prosecuted, tried, convicted and punished: and any court summoned or adjourned for such trial, shall have and exercise all the powers and
incidents of a court summoned or adjourned for the trial of a slave, For homicide, except that in cases of homicide, and in cases where the punishment
shall be death, the mode of trial shall remain as heretofore.(i) Prosecution for
12. Nothing in this act contained shall be so construed as to bar offences prior to or conclude any prosecution for any offence committed previously act, not barred.
to this act going into operation, but the same shall be so conducted,
decided and executed, as if this act had never passed. Act to be given in 13. It shall be the duty of the several judges of this commoncharge to grand juries of superior
wealth, and presiding justices of the county and corporation courts, and interior courts
. constantly to give this act in charge to the grand juries; and it is Duty of commonwealth's attornies,
moreover made the duty of all attornies prosecuting for the commonwealth in any court therein, who may know of, or have good reason to suspect any violation of this act, to lodge information thereof before the proper court or grand jury, and to institute forthwith the proper prosecution for his
or her conviction. Commencement. 14. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the
first day of July next.
Cuap. 188.–An ACT concerning the county of Northampton.*
(Passed March 5th, 1832.)
(g) Acts 1827-8, ch. 37, § 5, p. 30; ante. ch. 183, § 5.